Game 470 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2

Game 470
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2
Wednesday, October 28, 1964
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens tied the Toronto Maple Leafs for first place in the National Hockey League last night at Maple Gardens.

Scoring three times on power plays, the Canadiens whipped the Leafs 5-2 to extend their undefeated streak to six games and snap the Leafs’ string at the same number. Montréal has three wins and three ties. The Leafs are 3-1-3.

Claude Larose scored twice for the Canadiens, his second goal winning it at 6:32 of the second period. It came only 28 seconds after the Leafs had tied the game 2-2.

Claude Provost, Bobby Rousseau and Ralph Backstrom also beat an overworked Johnny Bower in the Toronto goal. Their success on the Habs’ power play emphasized one of the early mysteries of this year’s NHL schedule.

The Leafs, the most successful penalty killers in the league last season, have suddenly become the most susceptible to enemy power drives. Of 18 goals by opposing teams, 10 have been with Toronto shorthanded.

There was at least a partial excuse for generally lethargic performance last night.

They had been extended for a 3-2 win in Chicago Tuesday night in a rugged game, then returned home by overnight train. The Canadiens hadn’t played since Saturday.

On the other hand, Montréal was without defenceman Terry Harper, sidelined by a back injury and centre Henri Richard, whose balky groin injury is acting up again.

The Leafs took a one-goal lead on Don McKenney’s first goal, perfectly set up by Bobby Baun’s pass early in the game. But they held the edge only three minutes before Provost whipped Backstrom’s rebound over a fallen Bower two men short and the Canadiens one. Bower was down after a difficult save on Backstrom, who was far and away the Habs’ top hand.

His selection as the game’s outstanding player was cheered by the crowd of 14,006 who also saluted the Habs at the game’s end.

Midway through the second period, Rousseau lashed a rising shot to the top corner from over the blueline, also on a power play.

The Leafs came hack to tie with the Habs short at 16:04. Ron Ellis, their top hand along with Keon, took Frank Mahovlich’s pass, faked a shot, then with J.C. Tremblay as a screen, drilled the puck into the bottom corner.

Charlie Hodge, who played a strong game when it was required, had no chance.

Twenty-eight seconds later, Larose won it. The Leafs left him uncovered in front and Rousseau provided a perfect pass.

Larose scored again at the beginning of the final period, with assists from Talbot and Gilles Tremblay. Backstrom’s diligence was rewarded when he directed a deflected shot into the net to complete the scoring at 5:15 of the final period.

The Leafs had opportunities to strengthen their position when the score was still close. However they were outshot 27-18 in two periods, 39-31 overall.

Dave Keon elected to shoot on two-on-one breaks with George Armstrong, He shot wide both times. “The Big M” had an early break, but his drive hit Hodge’s pads, And in the second period, Ellis had two good chances before getting his goal.

For Montréal, the Larose-Rousseau-Gilles Tremblay line was the most productive. Tremblay had three assists and almost scored with Montréal shorthanded late in the game. Backstrom had at least two excellent opportunities be-fore he scored, and Rousseau hit the post, then whipped a drive between Bower’s pads but off the post in addition to his goal.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 29, 1964

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 02:23 – McKenney (Baun, Armstrong)
TOR PEN – 03:56 – Baun, cross checking
MTL PEN – 05:30 – Laperrière, roughing
TOR PEN – 05:30 – Pulford, roughing
MTL PP GOAL – 05:45 – Provost (Backstrom, Talbot)
MTL PEN – 08:24 – Ferguson, high sticking
TOR PEN – 08:24 – Horton, interference
TOR PEN – 12:03 – Douglas, high sticking + misconduct
TOR PEN – 16:09 – Brewer, hooking
MTL PEN – 16:30 – team, delay of game

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 06:12 – Hicke, tripping
TOR PEN – 08:41 – Horton, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 10:21 – Rousseau (Ferguson)
MTL PEN – 14:58 – Harris, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 16:04 – Ellis (Mahovlich, Douglas)
MTL GOAL – 16:32 – Larose (Rousseau, G. Tremblay)

MTL PEN – 17:43 – Ferguson, charging
TOR PEN – 17:43 – Stewart, roughing
MTL PEN – 17:43 – Harris, roughing

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 03:02 – Larose (Talbot, G. Tremblay)
TOR PEN – 04:32 – Baun, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 05:15 – Backstrom (Laperrière, G. Tremblay)
TOR PEN – 11:06 – Brewer, tripping
MTL PEN – 12:51 – Provost, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:15 – Ferguson, slashing

MTL – Hodge (W, 29-31)
TOR – Bower (L, 34-39)

MTL – 13+14+12 = 39
TOR – 9+9+13 = 31

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Yvan Cournoyer, John Ferguson, Bill Hicke, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Andy Bathgate, Ron Ellis, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Don McKenney, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 3-0-3 (.750)
TOR – 3-1-3 (.643)